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Japan immigration

Japanese cities lack support for foreign residents, poll shows

Nearly 60% still do not have dedicated offices for daily life assistance

A woman holds school information pamphlets in multiple languages, including Chinese and Thai, for foreign residents in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- About 60% of major municipalities lack comprehensive support offices to help foreign residents adjust to life in Japan, a Nikkei survey has found, even as a new visa program is set to bring in more workers from overseas starting in April.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications instructed localities in 2006 to draw up action plans to accommodate the rising number of foreign residents, including setting up sections dedicated to that purpose. More than a decade later, just 41% of the 253 cities and wards surveyed have created such departments, while 57% have not, according to the poll.

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